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Thu, 22 September 2022

WTTC Publishes Report: Nature Positive Travel & Tourism

(22/09/22)  The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has published a new report that shows how the industry can play a critical role in halting and reversing the destruction of nature.

Created to help businesses understand and manage their impact on biodiversity, the report has been purposefully launched ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in December, where global governments will finalise actions to transform societys relationship with nature, offers new hope for global nature conservation.

Nature Positive Travel & Tourism, created jointly with Animondial, a key advisor to global travel and tourism on animal and nature protection, and in collaboration with global businesses within the sector, has also been endorsed by Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD).

Canoeing in Marlow, England. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
Canoeing in Marlow, England. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

With nature tourism representing 20% of global tourism, the report shows just how crucial nature is for destinations around the world.

Wildlife, a primary motivator for nature tourism, contributes US$343 billion to the global economy every year, and supports nearly 22 million jobs around the world.

Human activity has resulted in a devastating loss of natural habitat and biodiversity, with one in four species now facing extinction, said Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO. Travel and tourism is uniquely placed to make a real difference as 80% of the industry is highly dependent on nature so it is crucial we take a proactive role in advancing nature conservation. Our report comes ahead of COP15, when governments will be creating targets to protect habitats, species, and the natural environment which in turn reduces carbon.

Biodiversity is also intricately tied to other critical issues, such as climate change and emerging diseases, with the potential impact of the latter so starkly demonstrated by the COVID19 pandemic.

Addressing the loss of biodiversity is not only crucial for the sector and its resilience, but also for the global economy and society.

Daniel Turner, Animondial Co-Founder & Director, said, Most travel and tourism businesses we talk to already understand the needs to include the protection of biodiversity and nature in their planning and reporting. But this can be a complicated area, and for many, the first challenge is simply knowing where to start. The report will inform, inspire, and empower travel and tourism to better manage their impacts and play a leading role in building a global Nature Positive future to help build a better world. Animondial commends WTTC for this opportunity to help tourism businesses with their first steps, as well as the rest of their Nature Positive Tourism journey.

Although global travel and tourism values nature and remains committed to protecting people and the planet, WTTC says that it believes more guidance is needed on the importance of biodiversity, the key drivers of biodiversity loss, and the key components to better protect and restore it.

To tackle this, the report offers a roadmap based on a four-phase framework with practical steps to guide the sector in adopting a Nature Positive approach: assessing operational impact, setting out a strategy, identifying essential actions, rolling out and reviewing the programme, and harnessing communication opportunities.

The report also offers four actions businesses can achieve in the short term: reconnecting people and nature, supporting sustainable value chains, protecting animals and their welfare, and investing in nature.

Both the private and public sectors have different roles to play. But meaningful change can and will only be achieved if the two work together to better protect animals and nature.

The 59-page report can be downloaded, after completing a form, here.

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